book 3 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 87

Gran's Solution

"Here they come" Ally advised as the minibus pulled into the yard.

We waited while they unloaded and they came across to where we waited, sat on the wall.

"Hi guys" Brit greeted us as they joined our little gang, there was a similar scenario over where Jules was waiting with Charlie, Anna and the other year 12's to be.

"Come on Amy, Mum's expecting us straight back" Bernie mentioned

"Yeah we ought to get back too" Rhod agreed

"See you on Friday" Mad stated

"Yeah" Rhod replied and the four of them set off

"What are you up to tomorrow Al?" I asked

"Working at Sylv's worse luck"

"You going too Darla?"

"I guess, could be fun"

"If you get bored give us a call and we'll rescue you" Mad offered

"You lot coming?" Jules called over


"See ya!"


The six of us made our way towards home, we left Mad and Sabrina at the end of their road and the Bond Walter's collective walked the last bit back to the house.

"Do you guys walk everywhere?" Deb asked

"Pretty much unless we can grab a lift" Jules replied

"I've never walked so much! Well not when we're not on a hike" Deb half complained.

"I suppose there was a lot of walking today in York?"

"Way too much" Brit agreed

We arrived home, Dad was only just home so Jules started preparing our tea, the Walter's went to change and I just collapsed in the front room. Although today had been pretty good I was still feeling miffed about the bike show. Dad was busy sorting out the post so I headed upstairs to mope for a bit. I don't know when I made the decision but I found myself hitting the speed dial for Gran.

"Hiya Gran"

"Is that you Juliette?"

"No Gran it's Drew"

"Oh sorry Drew, you both sound the same on the phone. What's up?"

"Why do you always think there's something wrong when I ring?"

"Because there usually is?"

"I guess"

"So are you going to tell me?"

"Well Mum said I could go but Dad can't take me and it's not fair" I spewed without drawing breath.

"Slow down! Now start again, your Mum said you could go?"

"Sorry Gran. Mum's got me a ticket for the big bike show in Germany in three weeks."

"That's nice"

"Yeah well Dad has to work and I can't go on my own, we already checked"

"I see. And I suppose you really want to go?"

"It would be so cool. Mum's doing a PA and all the latest kit and stuff'll be there, it's just so unfair Gran"

"Life's like that sometimes Drew. How are you going with your visitors?"

"Uh, okay I guess. Britney's pretty cool and Deb seems to get on with Jules okay."

"Your Mum told me about Sunday when I spoke to her yesterday"


"Your race win, why was there more?"

I decided not to elaborate just now.

"Er no, that was it"

"I'll have to go Drew, there's someone at the door"

"Okay Gran. Thanks for listening"

"It's alright Drew, tell your Dad to give me a call a bit later on eh?"

"Sure, bye Gran"

"Bye Drew"

I disconnected and lay back on my bed. I must have dozed off because I was woken by a tap on my door.


"Drew, food's on the table" Brit called through the door.


I joined the others at the table; Jules had managed to do spaghetti with meatballs and a side salad.

"You kid's have a good day?" Dad asked

"Yes thanks Mr B, all that history" Deb replied

"That Jorvik place, that is pretty neat"

"There's a place quite similar in Nottingham too" Jules mentioned

"Where else did you go?" Dad enquired

"That big church place" Brit started

"The Minster?" I offered

"Yeah that's it, then we went to some big museum with like whole cobbled streets and stuff" she went on.

"Castle Museum or something like that" Deb added

"Miss Bell insisted we walk around some of the wall, that was pretty cool."

We then spent the rest of the meal discussing what they'd seen and done, I nearly forgot Gran's message.


"What son?"

"I was talking to Gran earlier, she said can you ring her"

"Did she say what about?"

"No, not a clue"

"Okay I'll ring her in a bit"

We spent the rest of the evening watching telly; there was a repeat of 'Blackadder II' then the 'Only Fools'' episode with the blow-up dolls. Dad and me were in stitches but I'm not sure Brit and Deb got all the jokes, mind you, Jules thinks 'Coronation Street' is comedy! Dad went into the kitchen to ring Gran and we headed for bed about ten.

"So what's the plan for today?" Britney asked

"Not sure, Mad's got something up her sleeve I think"

"She's pretty cool"

"I guess"

"You guys, like, going together serious?"

"I guess"

"Me and Debs are off to Charlie's, you two okay?" Jules mentioned

"Yeah, we're going over to Mad's. Oh, can Brit borrow your bike?"

"Fine, see you later, you're doing tea remember"

"Yeah" I mumbled

With Brit on Jules bike and me on my mountain bike, we headed over to Peters Towers just before ten. When we got there Sab and Mad were on the drive, Sabrina in her cheerleader outfit and Mad in her badminton kit.

"Hey Drew!"

"Hi Mad"

"What are you guys doing?" Britney asked

"Mad asked me to show her some cheers an' stuff" Sabrina replied

"It's so neat Drew" Mad enthused

"Whatever. Anyway why have you guys brought your cheering kit with you?"

"Well I guess we can tell you, just don't tell Miss Bell" Sab started

"Tell her what?" Mad queried

"Well it's supposed to be a surprise," Brit put in"

"What?" Mad and I chorused

"You know there's a party planned, for when we leave?" Sabrina continued

"Uh huh" I agreed

"Well we're gonna do a cheer routine, Miss Bell thought it would be something really American?" Sab advised us

"Some of the others are doing some song thing," Brit added

"No doubt Mr Wood will have us doing something too" Mad mused

"He hasn't said" I pointed out

"Hey guys, I've got an idea" Brit enthused

"I've seen that look before" Sabrina smirked

Brit looked thoughtful before going on.

"I'll have to talk to Miss Bell first"

"Oh come on give!" Mad pouted

"Nah, I'll tell you tomorrow, what are we doing today?" Brit neatly side-stepped the questions.

"Dunno that I'm going to tell you now" Mad replied

"Don't even try it Maddy, once Brit is set on something, there's no turning her" Sab advised

"Hmmpf!" Mad allowed

"So?" I prompted

"Well mum suggested we go for a picnic in Clumber Park"

"Sounds cool" Brit offered

"How are we going, Aunt Carol giving us a lift?"

"Well if it's okay with Brit and Sab, we'll go by bike and meet Mum there"

"Good job I borrowed Jules bike for Brit today, what's Sabrina gonna ride?"

"Mrs Staniforth over the road offered to lend us one of theirs"

"Looks like it's in your court" I mentioned to the Americans

"Fine by me, Sab?"

"I guess, but you guys better wait for me!"

"Don't worry Sab, even Speedy Gonzalez here won't leave you behind" Mad advised, "we'd better get changed though."

It was nearly eleven when we finally left for the ride over to Clumber. As Mrs P was transporting the supplies we were travelling light and although much slower than my usual pace, it only took us about an hour to ride the few miles. We found Mad's Mum in the car park at the visitor centre where we locked the bikes up.

"I thought we could eat on the lawn by the lake" Mrs P suggested, "you girls go and find a spot, Drew you can give me a hand with the bags"

"Okay" at least someone was treating me like a boy!

Aunt C pulled out the cool box and a couple of bags with blankets and stuff and we set off for the lawn.

"So how are you Drew?"

"Fair to middling"

"Only middling?"

"Yeah well I feel a bit left out with all the girls round"

She raised a brow in question.

"You know," I went on, "they're talking girl stuff all the time"

"That's what girls do"

"Yeah I 'spose"

"What about you and my daughter, you getting on okay?"

"Yeah fine, they're over by that big tree"

"Where? Oh yes I see them"

Mad was waving enthusiastically.

"Well you know what I said before?"

"I'm fine really"

"Good you've brought the blankets!" Mad greeted us

After eating, and taking the bags back to the car, we went for a bit of a walk around the rose gardens and along the lake. By the time we got back to the car we were ready for the ice creams that Mrs P fetched for us. We sat and ate the super whip, delaying setting off home by ten minutes but we couldn't delay any longer! The ride back took a bit longer than the way out, Sabrina really was tired! Brit and I peeled off to go straight home, as I was cook for tonight, I hope they like beans on toast!

In the end, and with Brit's help, we ate sausage, chips and beans, not very healthy but I'm not exactly Jamie Oliver! We had barely finished eating when the phone rang; Dad got up to answer it.

He was gone a few minutes then he called through.

"Drew! Your Gran wants a word"


He handed me the receiver with a grin on his face. Ah well, it must be old age!

"Hi Gran"

"You sound a bit perkier today"

"We've been out for a bike ride"

"With the girls?"

"Just Britney, Mad and Sabrina"

"I spoke to your Mum last night after your Dad called"

"Is she okay?"

"She's fine, just very busy, she sends her love"

"I do miss her"

"Well the good news is that I've sorted your problem out"


"The bike show."

"How?" I was instantly excited

"Hold on a mo. Your Mum and Dad have made the arrangements, You, Me and your American friend, Britney is it?"

"Yeah Britney"

"Yes well the three of us will fly over for the weekend, is that okay?"

"Okay? That's brill! Thanks Gran! Wow just wait till I tell Britney! Oh, won't she need permission or something?"

"All sorted, your Dad's been on the phone half the day sorting it out"

"Thanks Gran, I love you"

"I love you too Drew, now go and tell your friend!

"Bye Gran"

"Goodnight Drew"

As you might guess, the rest of the evening was given over to excited chatter about the trip. I could see that Jules was a little miffed and Debs looked a little put out too, which put a bit of a damper on things.

"It'll be really cool!" I enthused

"All those bikes" Jules mentioned with more than a hint of sarcasm

"There's other stuff too" I huffed

"Well I'm looking forward to going, I never expected to go any place else other than England" Brit told us.

Maddy Bell 13.03.04 Secret © 2004

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